As the former President of the United States, Barack Obama always came across as a smooth and confident leader. He always seemed to know just about everything, and he had a secret weapon: whatever the Ivy League-educated Obama didn’t know, he could always learn from his array of presidential advisors.
Now that he has left the White House, Barack Obama gets advice about all kinds of topics from a very different set of “advisors:” his daughters. This normally works out quite well for him, but when he decided to ask Sasha Obama about how to use Snapchat, he ended up learning a very valuable (and very embarrassing) lesson.
Just what lesson did Barack Obama learn from Sasha, and what does it tell us about the former president and his family? Keep reading to find out!
Sasha Obama had to wait to use social media
You might expect Sasha Obama to be naturally more adept at social media than you are. This is most certainly the assumption that Barack Obama made. Like most parents, he reasoned that his daughter would be more aware of newer technology than his own generation is.
Interestingly, though, Sasha Obama is likelier to appreciate her time on social media more than most children for a simple reason: she had to wait to use apps like Snapchat in the first place! As reported by Time, Michelle Obama discussed her daughters and social media in 2013, saying, “Some of it’s stuff they don’t need to see and be a part of … So we try to protect them from too much of the public voice.”
And while there were later rumors about his daughters’ use of social media (including whether a young Sasha was on Twitter in 2016), the nature of having a famous family name means that Sasha and Malia still have to be careful about how much personal info they reveal online.
Barack Obama asked for a Snapchat tutorial
A few years ago, Barack Obama found himself asking something that many people have asked in recent years. Just how the heck does Snapchat work? In order to get the best answer, he turned to his youngest daughter, Sasha, for advice.
As reported by the BBC, he asked her about Snapchat over dinner, and he learned the basics, including how “you can make little faces on your picture, and this and that and the other.” It turns out that Barack Obama likes making speeches even when the cameras aren’t rolling, and as he told Jimmy Kimmel in an interview, “I started talking to Michelle about the implications of social media and what all this means.”
In his head, the Obama patriarch likely saw this as a very philosophical lecture about the intersection of humanity and technology. Soon, though, he found out that Sasha saw his lecture in a very different light, one that she saw fit to share with the world.
Getting the last laugh on her dad
A few minutes after Barack Obama wrapped up his little speech about social media, Sasha dropped the bombshell on him. As reported by NBC News, she was actually recording the lecture as he spoke and soon sent it to her friends. “’This is my dad lecturing us on the meaning of social media,’” Obama echoed his daughter in the interview with Jimmy Kimmel. Continuing, he described the editorial flourish Sasha added: “She took a picture of herself sort of looking bored.”
As this amusing incident highlights, all children like to get the last laugh on their parents, and Sasha couldn’t resist the perfect opportunity to troll her dad online. While we doubt this was exactly the main purpose of her secretly recording Barack, we think she might have taught him one of the most important social media lessons of all: you never know when you’re being recorded, and you never know when something you said could end up going viral!
Barack Obama doesn’t mind laughing at himself
Fortunately, Barack Obama ended up taking the joke in good stride. One reason for this may have been the simple fact that he was outnumbered at the dinner table. After Sasha revealed how smoothly she pranked her father, her older sister Malia agreed that the prank was hilarious. Barack got no support from Michelle, either: she agreed with her girls that they did a good job of teasing their famous father.
Another reason Barack Obama took the joke so well is that he has become used to it by now. In an interview with the Armchair Expert podcast, the former president shared that “I am generally the brunt of every joke in the household.” One classic example of such jokes is that Malia would occasionally ask her father his opinion on complex issues…she could always count on getting an impromptu lecture, something made funnier by the fact that her sister and mother would always beg her not to get Barack started!
After this successful Snapchat prank, though, we can’t help but wonder if this former president will think twice next time he wants to pontificate about topics like social media.